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India summons US envoy over CM arrest remarks

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NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday “strongly” objected to the remarks of the

US State Department

on the arrest of

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

, saying that in diplomacy, states are expected to be respectful of the

sovereignty and internal affairs

of others.
Summoning a senior US diplomat, govt said the need to respect sovereignty was applicable more in the case of fellow democracies and that casting aspersions on Indian judiciary was unwarranted.

Even after India’s objection, a US State Department spokesperson reiterated late Wednesday evening that the US expects fair, transparent and timely legal process in the case of Kejriwal. Asked about freezing of Congress’s bank accounts, the spokesperson said the US encourages the same fair, transparent and timely legal process in that case too. “We are aware of the Congress’s allegations that their bank accounts have been frozen in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the elections and we encourage fair, transparent and timely legal processes in each of these cases,” said the spokesperson.
Earlier in the day, MEA lodged a protest over similar State Department remarks on Tuesday, after summoning the US acting deputy chief of mission, Gloria Berbena. “We take strong objection to the remarks of the spokesperson of the US State Dept about certain legal proceedings in India,” govt said.

“States are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others… more so in case of fellow democracies,” said the MEA spokesperson. “It could end up setting unhealthy precedents. India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary committed to objective and timely outcomes,” he added.

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